Charlotte J. Lundgren, Mr. Alun H. Thomas, and Mr. Robert C York
Sizeable natural resource endowments and potentially large financial inflows from their extraction provide an unparalleled opportunity for economic growth and development in a growing number of sub-Saharan African countries. Empirical evidence suggests, however, that translating this resource wealth into stronger economic performance and a higher standard of living has proven challenging. Much has been written about the resource curse. This publication focuses on solutions to the challenges and outlines the main policy considerations and options in managing natural resource wealth, drawing on experience within and outside sub-Saharan Africa and referring closely to the latest analysis and policy advice in this area by the IMF, the World Bank, and leading academic research. A key feature of each chapter is a recommended reading list for those who wish additional, more in-depth material on these issues to further inform policymakers and other stakeholders on the theoretical and analytical underpinnings of the policy advice.
The economic recovery in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to continue, but at a slower pace than envisaged in October 2018. This weaker outlook reflects domestic and external challenges. On the external side, the global expansion is losing momentum, including in China and the euro area, trade tensions remain elevated, global financial conditions have tightened, and commodity prices are expected to remain low. On the domestic front, security challenges, climate shocks, and policy uncertainty are hampering investment and weighing on economic prospects in several countries. Under current policies, medium-term average growth for the region is expected to continue to fall well short of what is needed to absorb the new entrants to the labor force and to deliver limited gains in living standards.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
This independent evaluation of the IMF’s role and performance in the determination and use of aid to low-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa is presented at a ground-level view. Country performance has improved in many sub-Saharan Africa countries over the period, and the report details the role of the IMF’s programs, as well as perceptions of that role. The report is an important contribution to following through on the IMF’s commitment to its Poverty Reduction Strategy and makes three main recommendations for improving the coherence—actual and perceived—of the IMF’s policies and actions relating to aid to sub-Saharan Africa going forward.